Press Releases

Innovation Guelph joins the Next Generation Network Program through ORION

TORONTO, April 23, 2020 – ORION has taken another important step in expanding Ontario’s innovation ecosystem: Innovation Guelph has become the first Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) to join Ontario’s Next Generation Network Program (NGNP) through ORION’s network.

CENGN, Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, powers the NGNP through its commercial-grade, multi-site testbed infrastructure. ORION links the testbed’s four data centres in hubs throughout the province — Communitech in Waterloo, Invest Ottawa in Ottawa, MaRS Discovery District in Toronto (which joined ORION in 2017), and CENGN headquarters in Kanata. These state-of-the-art 100Gbps connections provide access to CENGN’s testbed for Ontario’s innovators. Innovation Guelph becomes the first RIC to directly access this infrastructure through ORION’s network. Their clients can now leverage CENGN’s infrastructure to test and validate ground-breaking new technologies that run on next-generation networks.

ORION worked together with our partners at OCE and CENGN to make this initiative possible. And it’s just the beginning: eleven more RICs are already scheduled to join the testbed, including four in Northern Ontario. Each RIC provides support to small- and mid-size enterprises (SMEs), such as technology startups and other new, innovation-driven companies, connecting them with the resources they need in order to accelerate the early stages of their business development. By joining ORION’s digital community, the RICs will be ensuring that their local SMEs are connected into Ontario’s innovation ecosystem and able to collaborate with innovators across the province. SMEs will also enjoy access to the many other benefits of becoming a constituent of ORION’s community, including our shared IT services and cybersecurity training workshops.

NGNP is the latest step in furthering the reach of Ontario’s research and education network, providing SMEs with the tools they need to test innovative new technologies that will drive economic development across the province.

How ORION connects the next generation network testbed. Click to download this image.


Alfonso Licata, CEO and President, ORION: “ORION is thrilled to welcome Innovation Guelph to the Next Generation Network Program — an important step in the ongoing expansion of our community. We’re committed to empowering Ontario’s innovators, whether they’re researchers and educators, or the small- to mid-size enterprises supported by Regional Innovation Centres such as Innovation Guelph. This is an exciting moment as ORION continues to build on our history of providing shared digital infrastructure and resources to those who drive Ontario’s innovation economy.”

Anne Toner Fung, CEO, Innovation Guelph: “Regional Innovation Centres are fostering innovation and growth for high-potential startups and scaling companies, solidifying their role in Ontario’s economic ecosystem. As supporters of innovation, we understand the importance of testing opportunities — and providing accessibility to stable and reliable connections is critical. The Next Generation Network Program provides Innovation Guelph with the confidence to know we are providing service excellence.”

Dr. Claudia Krywiak, President and CEO, OCE: “By de-risking high-potential companies at the early-stage, developing industry-academic partnerships and supporting collaborations province-wide, OCE supports Ontario innovators to develop the new technologies locally that can transform industries globally. We connect the deep regional and subject-matter expertise of ecosystem partners to accelerate emerging technologies, ensure Ontario companies have access to the tools they need, and build the Made-in-Ontario solutions and local supply chains required to position Ontario as a global innovation leader.”

Jean-Charles Fahmy, President and CEO, CENGN:
“The Next Generation Network Program enables Ontario’s most promising startups and scale ups to enter the market with confidence. Helping Ontario’s innovation economy thrive allows Ontario businesses to succeed globally while remaining headquartered within the province, increasing highly qualified jobs and empowering the competitiveness of the province through the digital transformation of our industries. We look forward to continuing our partnership with ORION as we work together to empower Ontario’s most innovative and disruptive tech startups and scale ups.”

About ORION:

ORION is a not-for-profit organization supporting Ontario’s progress with essential digital infrastructure. Since 2001, we’ve facilitated new discoveries by connecting research and education institutions, regions, and people across the province, enabling collaboration, learning, forging partnerships, and providing our community with the digital tools and expertise they need to make the world a better place.

Read more about ORION at | @ORIONNetwork

For media inquiries, contact:

Cathy Bogaart
Director, Marketing and Communications